To Kill a Mockingbird, the American classic which throughout the whole text exposed the several stereotypes that existed in our nation decades ago. To Kill a Mockingbird showed in depth stereotypes in the 1930s not only in fictional Maycomb, Alabama but throughout our whole nation at the time. The book emphasized on racial, class, gender, and even social stereotypes and how in many cases they were unfair and ridiculous in modern day opinion which is why it is a stunning piece of literature and was even turned into an Academy Award winning film. Probably the most portrayed stereotype was gender roles.
All throughout the book we encounter Scout learning about life and what Maycomb thinks is appropriate for men and women. Anything abnormal or out of tradition for either of the two sexes, but especially women was deemed inappropriate for that person. Gender stereotypes can be found anywhere in the literature. Throughout the book Harper Lee teaches us Scouts uncomfort with her inquotes fit role, the behavior of mature figures, and how what today we see wrong was perfectly normal back in the day. To Kill a Mockingbird is not any book but a message to people who were and are okay to stereotypes and don’t stand to fight them.
Scout’s life and the view of the public eye of her, but especially older and mature women figures represents the gender stereotypes that existed back in they. Scout not only learns but tries to counter and fight all these opinions and traditions. In all of the book we see how Scout is treated for her different behavior as a female. For example how many characters in the book such as Aunt Alexandria don’t think Jean Louise’s clothing is right for a girl of her age. Many mature figueres in the book not think it is appropriate for Scout to be dressed in overall and act so male like in her everyday life.
This represents the many tereotypes for women back in the day. Girls were suppose to wear dresses and play with dolls as it is said in the book. They were also to sit tight and learn from the elder. Scout learns that women were suppose to have very strict manners, wear big dresses, and chatter among one another. As she states “There were no doubt about it, I must soon enter this world, where on its surface fragrant ladies rocked slowly, fanned gently, and drank cool water” All this was seemed appropriate for the day.
We see throughout the story how Aunt Alexandra is not in agreement with Atticus’ fatherhood especially of how he treats Scout. In the book one of her mission is for Scout to behave like a “proper” woman, follow social routines, and get rid of the tomboy image she has received. Stereotypes existed not only for women but also for men such as that they should work for the household, and that they should hold positions that ran the town, such as Scout learns that Miss Maudie can’t serve on jury because of her gender.
In modern day all this would seem horrific and we were to judge all the characters for this action especially the woman figures such as Aunt Alexandria or Miss Maudie for their actions and opinions. Although we can’t forget that was society back in the day. That’s how people in specific women were raised to be. Anything different was not right. Aunt Alexandria and others were just living how they were taught and majority thought was proper. Scout’s learning of all of this horrifies her and like the rebellious figure she is she exposes all the gender stereotypes.
The behavior of the mature figures in the book exposes the gender discrimination and stereotypes in the novel. All of Maycomb in majority but in specific the actions of Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie showed the gender inequality over 0 years ago. In all of the story we see how males had the leading and dominating role in everyday life and how women had the more calm and strict way of life. In Maycomb men had the top jobs and probably all the roles in the economical, political, and judicial aspects of this small town.
Like previously stated although it may not seem but women weren’t the only ones that suffered stereotypes. The fact that men in maycomb were the ones that had to go out a work in a family and have the complete power of the town is a stereotype. In all of the book the adult characters follow what was suitable for each of he sex. They did what was taught to them and had been perfectly right in the eye of society for centuries if not milleniums. We see how women stereotypes ially through Aunt Alexandria.
How she always had a big dress on, drank tea and water, and just stayed at home or chattered around the town. Miss Maudie also had very similar actions throughout the novel and they both tried to make Scout more ladylike. Women and Men in Maycomb not everything was perfectly right and did not choose change. Their behaviors such as, being okay with their roles, judging other women for not being ladylike, most of hem not having jobs, men having most responsibility represent the discrimination and inequality of women and the not completely fair roles of men.
Today in modern day we still suffer from stereotypes and discriminations but not as badly as back then. What today seems dreadful, back in the day seemed normal and fine. To Kil| a Mockingbird shows the daily norms and society rules in the 1930s and even before. It also shows Scout’s contrary opinion and her unfortunate realizing of things in life. Men and women’s routines were perfectly fine with most people. Back then women didn’t have many rights and men had heavy roles. There were injustices for both sides, but unfortunately women were way more discriminated.
Maycomb everyday life don’t just represent a town from Alabama but an overall similarity to most American towns and even most of the world. Scout, Dill, Jem, Atticus, Aunt Alexandra and the rest of Maycomb were victims of past poor decisions, male brutal dominance, and society opinion. Women not having equal jobs or pay, not being to be on jury on hold many other positions, and almost forced to have certain behavior was totally unfair, but that was fine and perfect back then. The readers of the book need to understand that the haracters followed what was taught to be right and how life has changed drastically.
Scout was one of the few characters in the book to try to stand up to this injustice and look for change. To Kill a Mockingbird was an instant American classic for a reason. It taught us the difficult life of certain groups back in the day and especially all the stereotypes surrounding race,gender, class, and social actions in the United States as well as the world. When it was published it opened many eyes to realize the injustice and made readers learn that life back in the day wasn’t so easy. Throughout the book we read as Scout struggles with er women stereotypes and sees life in a different way.
Harper Lee did a remarkable job narrating unfair life in America during that time in what was probably what she lived through. To Kill a Mockingbird should be read by many to learn the full history of this country. The book shouldn’t be banned just because it shows a dark past, but rather be praised for informing us incredibly, of life back then. Like the philosopher George Santayana once said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ” To Kill a Mockingbird is more than an entertainment, but it is a written representation of this country’s dark past.